Watching babies grow is something amazing to experience as a new parent. As your little guy starts crawling and pulling to stand, it’s natural to see them bump into everything. You may try and baby proof what you can but there are limitations. Things like power cords behind the table, top-heavy lamps, corners of the coffee tables, and even dog bones will continue to pose threats to the well-being of your young explorer. When you know a baby gate won’t cut it, going for the best baby playpen is the right bet.
For non-crawling babies, you can find many options to create safe play zones, such as playmats, activity centers, jumpers, and those “good old” baby gates. A good playpen, however, will provide your baby with ample space to play and crawl around safely. Knowing that your baby is protected, you can have some kid-free time to get ready for work, cook food, or even take a bathroom break. Depending on the size of the playpen you choose, they can also serve as bassinets, diaper-changing stations, and portable cribs.
No doubt, playpens are great to create a safe zone in your home, but the satisfaction you receive depends heavily on the quality of the product selected. Here are some good options for you to consider.
Best Overall: Gupamiga Store Baby Playpen
Bright and colorful, it’s one of the best baby playpens from the Gupamiga Store. It delivers a solid punch in terms of durability and performance. At 59x59x23.6inches, it’s quite spacious, not only for your toddler to crawl but also for you to join them for playtime.
It’s lightweight and made of non-toxic HDPE, but make no mistake about its durability, as the molding technique adds strength to the structure. It seems the manufacturers have paid special attention to making it strong yet safe for your baby and it’s evident in the quality of material used in construction. The fence height is ideal for your baby to walk and stand but still keep them inside. It’s also easy to customize those fences and use them in any way you like to enhance security and usability.
Most parents love the fact that it comes with anti-slip rubber feet to ensure that the parts won’t go sliding around. The anti-stick arm design is yet another interesting feature making the playpen a lot more stable as compared to other similar products in the market. However, there are some complaints about the hinges being very spacious. Similarly, some parents are not all that happy with the door handle, which is low and doesn’t allow for one-hand operation. Overall, it’s big on bells and whistles and offers sufficient room for you, your baby, and their toys.
- It uses non-toxic, odorless material in construction
- It relies on an anti-stick arm design for stability
- It collapses with ease and is portable
- Brand: Gupamiga Store
- Model: WL004-14
- Dimensions: 59x59x23.6inches
Best Value: Evenflo Versatile Play Space
Though it comes with a weight recommendation of almost 17lbs, this cool baby playpen is appropriate for children up to 2 years of age. Precisely, there is about 5-feet of space from one edge of the octagon to the other. Your toddler gets more than 18.5 sqft of space, usually enough to help them play and scoot around in joy.
Another interesting feature parents like is its push-button hinge design. With this mechanism, it gets easier to take apart the fencing and set it anywhere else you want. Installation would never cause any problem, but make no mistake about the sturdiness of each panel. Once you secure the fencing properly, there’s no way a toddler could get out of their assigned space in the home.
It’s quite suitable for both indoor and outdoor use because of its reversible legs. The presence of outdoor stakes makes it suitable for lawn placement, whereas its non-scratch floor pads make it perfect for delicate interior surfaces. The playpen makes no compromises in terms of safety. You won’t find any sharp edges there, as the webbing features a rounded edge instead. You don’t need to worry about your baby getting hurt if you leave them unattended for a short while.
Overall, Evenflow manages to hit a big home run with this product. The only issue you might encounter is regarding its customization. You can secure it only by placing each panel at an angle, so it’s not possible to make a rectangle. You have to attach the opposite ends to make it sturdy.
- It’s highly portable with a unique hinge design
- It’s easy to carry with its foldable molded handle
- It’s quite spacious and allows for a great playtime
- Brand: Evenflo
- Item Weight: 16.88lbs
- Color: Cool Gray
Best Pick: Angelbliss Baby Playpen
Right from its unique design and amazing durability to its outstanding usability, everything about this playpen is quite impressive. First off, it impresses you with its easy installation process, thanks to its patent snap design. You can install it quickly, and with its snap design, disassembly becomes even more convenient.
The playpen is quite spacious and suitable for homes with large spaces. At 59x71x27 inches, it has enough space for your baby and all their toys. It also serves as a perfect ball pit for your toddler, and they can have plenty of fun playing with their pets too.
Thickened 300D Oxford cloth is the reason why you won’t face any trouble in carrying and keeping this playpen clean. You can wash it by hand without facing any issue whatsoever or the use of a damp cloth and soap will do the trick. The use of this cloth makes it a lot more portable and secure. It relies on steel pipes though for stability.
Overall, it’s a great buy, but you need to remember that it doesn’t come with any padding at the bottom, so be prepared to buy a foam cushion with it. It may be an added expense, but it helps make the space much safer and comfortable for your little genius.
- It’s made of oxford cloth, plastic, and steel for stability
- It’s quite spacious for babies and toddlers
- Its height is just right to keep babies comfortable yet safe
- Brand: ANGELBLISS
- Dimensions: 59x71x27 inches
- Color: Gray
Best in Space: Fortella Cloud Castle Playpen
With an ability to cover more than 25 sqft, this playpen from Fortella is extremely spacious with enough room to accommodate 2 adults with a baby. Made of non-toxic HDPE, it comes preassembled, so no need to fiddle with anything to set it up for the first time. All you have to do is tighten the hinges and you’re good to go.
Thanks to the use of good quality hinge connectors, the playpen is extremely secure and portable at the same time. You can take it with you while traveling and place it on any surface using its non-scratch/anti-slip pads. The addition of a safety lock means you don’t have to worry about your baby finding a way out of the playpen.
A very impressive feature is the presence of a whiteboard on the back of the door panel. It encourages your growing angel to use their creative side. It also helps improve your child’s cognitive development. The activity wall in this playpen comes with 5 sensory toys, including rotating gears, abacus, dial phone, reelers, and sound buttons. So, expect your baby to stay occupied while you have some kid-free time.
Overall, it’s one of the best baby playpens of 2021, but do keep in mind that though it’s foldable and portable, its large size makes it a little heavy to move around. Also, some parents are of the view that though plastic screws hold up well, they could’ve been of better quality.
- It features a whiteboard to keep kids interested
- It comes with customizable panels
- It lacks any pointy or sharp edges
- Brand: Fortella
- Model: B07HQSBMZV
- Dimensions: 86.25×76.5 inches
Best in Stability: ANGELBLISS BLACK Baby Playpen
ANGELBLISS is known for offering quality baby products, and this playpen is no different either. It offers great value for money because its sturdy construction makes it last a long time. It uses double thicken oxford cloth, which is durable and provides safety at the same time.
Reinforced with stainless steel pipes, the playpen is extremely secure and impact resistant. There are triangular joins along with pipe compact connection, so your baby won’t be able to find a way out of it. It also features powerful TPR suction cups underneath to ensure that no overzealous toddler manages to push it down.
Not only is it quite secure, but it’s also quite easy to use with its zipper crawling design. You won’t face any issues while interacting with your baby because the playpen supports a 360-degree wide-angle field. Its overall height of 68cm also makes it suitable for babies to crawl, stand, and play games.
Overall, ANGELBLISS has done a great job making this playpen perfect in many aspects. Some parents think the instructions could’ve been easier, but still, it’s never a deal- breaker, as installation won’t test all your skills.
- It uses steel pipes for added security
- It comes with TRP suction cups for stability
- It uses a zipper crawling design for easy access
- Brand: ANGELBLISS
- Color: Black
- Size: 160x190cm
Best Portable: Toddleroo by North States Superyard
This panel playpen does a great job at providing your baby with a safe play area. Freestanding, it covers more than 34.4 sqft, which is more than enough to contain your baby or toddler will all their toys.
You won’t face trouble when carrying it from one place to another, as it’s quite portable and comes with a carrying strap as well. It’s also easy to install it anywhere, assembly and disassembly won’t be a problem. Though it’s portable, it’s still quite stable when secure. There are non-slip pads added to the package to ensure it maintains its place while your baby is busy playing. The use of durable plastic is another reason why it will last long. You can also let your pet play with your toddler because the playpen is made of tough plastic.
It works great indoors and outdoors, but you need to bear in mind that it requires additional cushioning at the bottom for greater comfort. A folding ABC plays mat will do the trick here. Moreover, it features 6 panels, but you can buy additional panels to cover a larger space. So, overall, it’s rugged, portable, and well worth the money you spend!
- It’s quite spacious for babies and toddlers
- It folds quickly and has a carrying strap
- It’s suitable for indoor and outdoor use
- Brand: Toddleroo by the North States
- Size: 262.5x2x26 inches
- Color: Colorplay
Best in Durability: Yobest Baby Playpen
If you’re looking for a durable playpen for babies and toddlers, you may want to check what Yobest has to offer. Your baby will have a large playing area while you’ll have ample peace of mind knowing they’re safe and well-contained. It measures 72x56x27 inches, which may not be huge as compared to some other playpens currently available in the market, but it’s large enough to contain twins with their toys.
Expect good quality and durability from this playpen, in that it is made of Oxford material combined with steel pipes and non-toxic plastic. No health concerns will arise when you let your baby explore it at their own pace. The use of non-slip suction cups adds to its stability. The presence of mesh material means the playpen is sturdy but at the same time highly breathable for your baby. Its side panels allow for better visibility, so you can keep an eye on your little devil from afar.
Overall, it’s one amazing playpen that would complement your current home décor and won’t stand out like a sore thumb. The only downside is that some parents find it extremely difficult to disassemble it. While you wouldn’t want to take it apart often, you’ll learn to do it with ease once you get used to the process.
- It offers a large play area
- It uses breathable mesh for the baby’s comfort
- It’s waterproof and extremely durable
- Brand: Yobest
- Size: 36x9x7 inches
- Color: Grey
Best in Usability: Regalo My Portable Play Yard
For a playpen that works equally well indoors and outdoors, you may want to consider going for Regalo Play Yard. This 6-panel playpen looks perfect for keeping your baby safe and protected. It uses quality fabric with reinforced stitching, so you won’t face any trouble using it anywhere. It’s water-resistant as well, which is why you can have it installed outside too.
As it’s 26 inches tall and 48 inches wide, it may not look huge at first sight. But, make no mistake about its usability and high performance. Though relatively small, it does its job just perfectly. The biggest plus of this playpen is its one-time adjustment system, which makes it super simple to install. But, if you ever want to shift it to someplace else, you can do it with ease because it’s lightweight and portable. It even comes with a carry case and arm strap for easy travel. It doesn’t have a huge footprint either, so you won’t face issues when storing it away.
Those mesh walls make it quite breathable and allow for easy cleaning as well. You can hand wash it whenever you like or wipe it down with a damp cloth. Together with a steel frame, those mesh walls provide your baby with a haven inside the house. It features a safety-lock feature for added security.
Overall, it’s one impressive playpen to buy, but it’s worth mentioning that some parents believe it could’ve been sturdier to keep younger kids inside. You won’t face an issue though if you’re buying it for your baby only.
- It uses a special mechanism to take it apart quickly
- It comes with water-resistant mesh for outdoor use
- It features an all-steel frame for security
- Brand: Regalo
- Size: 48x1x26 inches
- Color: Aqua
Summer Pop’ n Play Hex Playpen
This 6-sided playpen in aqua sugar color is sure to look good in your house. Designed carefully to work great both indoors and outdoors, this playpen from Summer Infant will deliver a solid punch in terms of performance. It’s a good choice for outdoor use because of its full coverage comprising of two zip-open panels and a removable canopy.
With it, you can provide your baby with a 14 sqft of contained playing space. It’s just enough to keep them busy with their toys around. It may not be huge, but its compact size makes it extremely portable. Also, you won’t face any issues when folding it down and carrying it to another place.
In terms of comfort, the playpen won’t disappoint you or your baby, as it comes equipped with extra padding at the bottom. It’s quite easy to install it using the lever, but it may require some force to push the button while pulling it. The only downside is that though it’s machine washable, the fabric comes bolted on at the top, making it nearly impossible to remove it full for washing.
- It offers full coverage for outdoor use
- It’s quite compact and is highly portable
- It features an extra padded floor
- Brand: Summer Infant
- Color: Aqua Sugar
- Size: 8.3x10x38.75
BabySeater Portable Playpen with Carrying Case
If you’re looking for a playpen that’s simple to use and easy to store away, you may love what BabySeater has to offer. Portability and durability are the two main features of this playpen. It’s made from a lightweight metal frame, which is easy to fold. The lighter frame makes it easy to load and unload anywhere you go. It comes with a strap for added portability.
Created with mesh walls and a robust string structure, the playpen will easily last through a rambunctious baby quite well. With its one-handed operation, it’s convenient to unfold it in seconds. The zipper looks sturdy and works flawlessly, allowing you an easy entry into the playpen. As it folds easily, you can put the whole thing in a mesh laundry bag and wash with no problem.
The floor lining makes it quite useful on most surfaces. The padding may not look enough, but it’s not a deal-breaker, as it makes it lightweight and super comfortable to travel with. While it may not be as spacious as some other playpens on our list, it’s still large enough to contain your young one when you want to clean up or make dinner without them pinching your heels.
- It features mesh walls for easy use
- It has a foldable metallic frame for portability
- It comes with safety latches for improved security
- Brand: BABYSEATER Store
- Model: B0757DXVQB
- Dimensions: 54x 30 inches
What Should You Check When Buying a Playpen?
A playpen offers numerous benefits, but you need to consider a few important factors before you finalize a buying decision. For instance:
- Easy Storage
You need to factor in the ease of storing your playpen away when not in use. It’s important when you have very limited space at home and can’t leave your playpen installed all the time. Pick one that collapses easily, especially when you’re going to place it in your living room.
- Number of Panels
A playpen with more panels can help you cover more space. A good option would be to buy a playpen that allows you to customize its shape and makes it easier to add extra panels if needed. So, consider the number of panels and customization before making your purchase.
- Material Quality
All sorts of brands are now offering playpens made using different materials, including wood, plastic, steel, and mesh. With a material change, there will be a change in how durable the playpen is. A metal frame is going to be a lot more durable as compared to a frame made of plastic. Where you’re going to set it up will have an impact too. Keeping it outdoor means you’ll need more cleaning and plastic is more responsive to quick cleaning.
- Ease of Use
A playpen that requires serious installation is going to put you in trouble. Pick one that comes with an easy installation mechanism and is convenient to assemble and fold up at will.
- Is there a Difference between Play Yards and Playpens?
While most people use these terms interchangeably, there is a subtle difference between both. For instance, you can use some play yards for changing a diaper or even sleeping. Standard playpens won’t offer this feature. Also, you’ll see play yards with integrated floors, which is something missing in most playpens.
FAQsQ: Does your baby require a playpen? A: Of course, it’s a great idea to buy a playpen to provide your baby with a safe place to crawl and walk. This gives you some liberty to handle other chores and even take a bathroom break. How spacious it should be is an important point to consider while buying. Q: How old your baby should be to use a playpen? A: The best time to introduce a playpen to your baby’s life is when they begin to crawl, and that usually happens when they turn 6-7 months. Ultimately, it depends on your unique situation, as you should buy one when you notice your little genius has started moving around too much. Q: Is it okay to let your baby sleep in a playpen? A: It is, but you need to ensure that they sleep on their back, especially if they’re under 12 months of age. This will help lower the risk of suffocation and other injuries. Q: Is there a difference between a playpen and a pack and play? A: Playards or pack and plays come with their mattresses, making them suitable for sleeping. On the other hand, a playpen is mainly designed to confine the movement of your baby by keeping them in an enclosed area. Q: Is there a way to keep my baby in a playpen? A: Provide them with the right entertainment and they’ll love it there. You can put their favorite toys along with their blanket to make it a fun place to be. Initially, you should leave them in a playpen for a few minutes and then increase the time gradually. Try not to make it a ‘jail’ for them and help make it more “fun”. Q: Why does your baby throw toys and stuff out of the playpen? A: Don’t worry about it because babies develop fine motor skills when they are 7 months old. They’re just enjoying those new skills, nothing more.
A playpen provides your baby with a safe environment to play with their toys and pets. Depending on the size, you can also join them to make playtime even more exciting. Knowing your baby is safe and no way near the stairs or other hazardous items, you can shift your focus on other chores, even if it’s for a few minutes only. Depending on its height, it may also help your baby stand up and learn to walk a little.
While there are many benefits to owning a playpen, you may want to avoid leaving your child unattended in a playpen space for an extended time. After all, you don’t want to inhibit their essential exploration instinct and experimentation skills. So, use it wisely and it will make your life easier.